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JAMES LAWSON AND ROBERT LAWSON:
SPECIALISATION IN GILLOWS CHAIRMAKING
The following three lots are signed by their makers, a relatively common Gillows practice in the early 19th Century. The two lots of chairs with turned legs are signed by James Lawson, who is recorded in the Gillows records in connection with chair manufacture in 1827-1828. Reassuringly, he is described as a turner. His namesake Robert Lawson, maker of lot 6, is recorded as a cabinet-maker over a longer period, 1805-33 (G. Beard and C. Gilbert, eds., The Dictionary of English Furniture Makers, Leeds, 1986, p. 532). There is no evidence to suggest a connection between the two, other than their living in Lancaster, but the chairs demonstrate the technical distinction between chairs made by a turner and that with a veneered back, the province of the cabinet-maker.